What mattered and what’s important from Week 1 of the Big 12 college football season?
Chuba Hubbard was supposed to be a star coming into the season, and he didn’t disappoint. The speedster ripped off 221 yards and three touchdowns on just 26 carries, taking the heat off the passing game and taking over things in the first half. Now the running attack needs more options to keep him fresh – he’s amazing when he’s fresh.
Spencer Sanders did just fine. Dru Brown was supposed to be a part of the quarterback mix, but this was Sanders’ game, and he was terrific. Not only did he run for 109 yards, but he completed 19-of-24 passes for 203 yards and three scores. It helps when the other weapons are working, with Tylan Wallace once again looking Biletnikoff-worthy with a solid 92-yard, two touchdown day.
Don’t dismiss this as a win over the Pac-12’s worst team. That’s a dangerous offense with a slew of nice parts. The Beavers came up with 448 yards and had their moments, but Oklahoma State was able to do what it does and bring its offense all the way up to Corvallis. The D will never be a rock this season, but it has to be better on third downs. Oregon State converted 13-of-20 tries.
Of course Iowa State is going to make it difficult. The Cyclones don’t ever do anything easy, but it got the win over a UNI program that’s always up for giving the other in-state teams fits. Don’t get hung up on needing triple-overtime to get by an FCS team. Be impressed that there were several moments the Cyclones could’ve crashed, and didn’t.
Brock Purdy might not have a bigger moment this year than the recovered fumble in the third overtime to save the game. He ended up completing 30-of-41 passes for 278 yards and two scores, but he didn’t run for much and way too many empty trips. The offense managed just one touchdown in regulation, but again, take the win and get out – Purdy came up with the play he needed to get the win.
David Montgomery is going to be sorely missed all year long. The Cyclones were able to use four difference options on the way to 185 rushing yards, but there wasn’t any consistency and few big gashes. Deshaunte Jones looked the part of a No. 1 receiver with 14 catches for 126 yards, but it was La’Michael Pettway who came through with two scoring grabs.
This is going to take a while. Kansas need to rally with a touchdown drive in the final minutes to pull this off for the first win under Les Miles. It was a win, but this is going to be a long, long season considering the playmakers and guys on the line just aren’t there.
Star RB Pooka Williams was suspended for the game, and the team desperately needs him back. Khalil Herbert ran for 88 yards and averaged 5.2 yards per carry, and Carter Stanley had a nice statistical game – that’s all misleading. The O sputtered and coughed way too often – the first offensive touchdown came midway through the third – partly because the offensive line couldn’t keep the Sycamores out of the backfield.
Three turnovers, getting outgunned, seven penalties – Kansas didn’t play well, Indiana State was every bit its equal, and yet it was a win with a clutch late drive. For this program, you take the win no matter how you get it, and you move on.